Starting life as the net-in-line to a prosperous Cognac producer, his extensive European connections and business skills led Jean Monnet to be named as a prime European liason to the US during WWII. His sole mission was to secure critical supplies for waging the war against the Nazis. Chasing item after crucial item, he learned and became fascinated with the workings of a true free market economy.
After the war he set out on a single minded mission to create the United States of Europe out of the chaos left by the war. Fighting centuries of division, animosity, and separatism, Jean doggedly advanced his concept of a free market covering the entire map of Europe. He was convinced that this would result in a renaissance of European industry and commerce, and the hearts and minds of Europeans would follow their pocketbooks.
Told in a very matt-of-fact manner, his persistence and uncompromising attention to even the slightest detail gives insight as to how he succeeded in planting the seeds of the modern European Community. His influence was so great that the Economist magazine has consistently advocated that the new European Community common currency be called the "Monnet."